On the Road With the U-Men (Part 2)

Posted: July 16, 2011 in U-Men

While in LA, the band befriended local cowpunks Tex & the Horseheads.  One night the U-Men and the Horseheads’ Mike Martt ventured down to Venice Beach to drink beer.  The police then busted the party and confiscated the alcohol, alleging public drunkenness.  Frustrated, the group headed over to Hollywood, scored some more beer and continued to party well into the night.  At one point, Martt had to go to the bathroom and proceeded to defecate in front of a woman’s window.  He then returned to the school bus, where everyone had fallen asleep.  The woman complained and the police returned—this time it was hardened Hollywood cops who beckoned.  U-Men bassist Jim Tillman, the only sober member of the group, had removed his contacts before falling asleep.  “And I wake up to this light shining in my face….And I ran to the front of the bus, and I open the door and there’s this guy standing there.  He’s pointing the gun right at me.  He’s like, ‘Don’t even move.’”

The police forced everyone off the bus.  U-Men guitarist Tom Price protested, mentioning that his girlfriend’s father was a lawyer.  His defiance was rewarded with several punches from the angered authorities.  And then everyone waited, seated on the grass while the police tore the bus apart, looking for narcotics.  After what seemed like forever, the officials emerged from the bus shouting, ‘Who’s the junkie?’  The question elicited genuine looks of surprise from the dazed musicians.  In fact, no one was.  Certainly, beer, pot, and acid were in play, but not smack.  “And the cop pulls a hypodermic out of his pocket—his shirt pocket—with the rubber still on the needle,” says Tillman.  “He’s like: ‘Who’s the [junkie]?  We found this in the bus.  Blah Blah Blah.’  And I’m thinking, ‘No you didn’t.  Bullshit.’ And he’s like, ‘C’mon, everybody roll up your sleeves.’  Everybody rolled up their sleeves and nobody had any track marks.  So he put it back in his pocket.  They went about their business.  And finally, after about an hour…they came back and said, ‘Alright, you guys.  Pack the shit up.  Get the fuck out of here.  Don’t ever come back to Hollywood.’”

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